Teach English in the Public Schools of Isla Mujeres, Mexico
- Isla Mujeres
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2 weeks: $700 usd *
3 weeks: $1,050 usd *
TEFL Certification Program
4 weeks: $1,500 usd
Additional weeks: $250 usd each
GAP Year Program
5-month program: $7,211 usd
10-month program: $11,1134 usd
6-month Scholarship: ALL FEES WAIVED. Qualifications: Bachelor's degree, upper-intermediate Spanish level, experience with children, 6-month commitment.
*2 and 3 week program volunteers receive an accreditation certificate for teaching hours earned. The TEFL Certification requires a minimum of the 4 week program.
VolunQuest is proud to be the only private organization that allows volunteers to participate as teachers in the public school systems in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Our volunteer teachers teach the national English curriculum to students during regular school hours, and work alongside the full time teachers of Isla Mujeres. We offer a 2-3 week Teacher Training, a 4-week TEFL certification program or a 5-month and 10-month TEFL Gap Year program.
All of our volunteers go through an orientation, professional teacher training, have continuous supervision, are given access to materials and resources, as well as are provided with a teaching certification from the Secretary of Education, accredited by the Mexican Ministry of Education. This is a unique opportunity for volunteers to gain invaluable experience and references, all while seeing that they are committing themselves to a project that is truly sustainable and making a real difference in the community.
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- A Teaching Certificate through the Mexican Ministry of Education (4 week program minimum) or Accreditation certificate for teaching hours earned (2 or 3 week program)
- Full immersion into the local community
- Collaborative lesson planning and material creation
- Access to office materials which include school supplies, a printer/copy machine, printer paper, teaching materials, etc.
- A letter of recommendation upon successful completion of the program
Our goal is to provide an exemplary teacher training experience abroad that mutually enriches the local community and the lives of our program participants. We accomplish this by fulfilling the need for English teachers in the public primary schools of Isla Mujeres with aspiring teachers looking to gain valuable experience and an unrivaled TEFL teacher certification abroad. For the children in this popular tourist destination, learning English is a necessity, not a luxury. Our students need to learn English in order to become successful members of their economy and society.
Response from VolunQuest
Jessica, we are sorry to hear you had a negative experience as one our interns. We have had many interns complete this program who had a very positive and fulfilling experience, and we regret this was not the case. Other interns from your semester remained friends and often come to the island to visit, and one stayed for a year longer as the Director of Education because she too believed in our vision.
We would, however, like to address a few more of your concerns. As a VQ intern, there are rules and expectations within the contract that are different from a paid volunteer participant. Unfortunately, you did not get to participate in the final outing with the other interns because your intern contract was violated and terminated. There were political comments on your Facebook that were offensive to Mexican Nationals, which violates our social media policy because we are working in the Mexican public-school system. Also, we have had to add additional house rules due to the multiple conflicts with your roommates that arouse during your semester in the program, which related to your personal life outside of teaching.
We are unsure what you mean by power-hungry. VolunQuest does have rapport with all of the inhabitants of the island and the parents of our students, due to our multiple outreach campaigns and programs. As you learned, VolunQuest participants become sort of local celebrities, with parents and students often greeting and running up to the interns in public outside of the schools. However, this is only a byproduct of the work that we do here and in no way is our ultimate goal or mission. We like to think that the positive relationship that we have with the people in the community is a constant reminder of us doing a good job. Anyone who contacts local businesses in Isla Mujeres will quickly learn that we work with and are supported by a multitude of companies. We work with Barlitos, Marina Paraíso, Hotel Cha Chi, The Joint, Ruben’s, Chilito’s, Fayne’s, Lola Valentina, Madera Food and Art, Skulls Landing, Green Demon, Barracuda Skate, Everything Isla, Mundaca Real Estate, Pocna Dive Center, and Acción Isla, to name a few.
You were asked over text message to remove a Facebook post about building a wall between Mexico and the United States, which was the third warning in violation against your contract. Your first warnings happened when the teacher’s complained about mistreatment of the students. There was a one on one meeting with the president of VolunQuest, where she offered her support to work with you every day to help improve classroom management skills. The director asked you in person to please remove the social media post, and when that was refused, the contract was canceled. Upon termination, we provided housing and transport to the airport, made sure that you had everything that you needed to get home safely and did not charge you for your violated contract, even though we had the legal right to do so.
We understand that you are upset about being removed from the program, but we wish you the best in your future endeavors and hope that at some point you will reflect on your time with VolunQuest and take away something positive from the experience.